The Powerful Benefits of Psychotherapy for Men
Psychotherapy for men is a very effective treatment for mental health issues facing males. But often there are some barriers for men to starting therapy. The start of therapy can seem like a time of objections and denial. Most crucially, the question, “is there even a need for therapy,” stops any further pursuit.
A common reason for therapy is anger caused by depression. Anger as a symptom of depression for men is a complex issue that takes hard work with a therapist. With hard work, anger issues can be easily understood.
Time and time again, counselors help men move on with life, gaining a positive approach, without the anger.
When men harbor anger and other negative emotions in the classic stoic & stow-it, everyone sufferers from the consequences. Substance abuse and other addictions leave broken and hurt families. The horrifying implications that men’s issues have in shaping our most serious social problems too often is put on the back burner to protect the male status as the provider and keep the cultural male norms intact. It doesn’t have to be this way.
What People are Saying About Denver Men’s Therapy:
“The staff at Denver Men’s therapy are top notch therapists of the highest integrity. I would give them six stars if I could!”
“Highly skilled and effective therapist for men.”
A careful look at men’s mental issues reveals a nightmarish landscape of social problems. Mass shootings threaten day to day existence. #MeToo uncovers countless instances of men publicly behaving badly toward women. Domestic violence hurts the individual and the family. Social concerns from personal problems are why men find they need therapy.
Therapists see men who feel they are stuck in their lives. It may be coming from shame about his abilities or procrastination that keeps him in the feeling of being stuck. The feeling can be crippling or anger-inducing. By talking with another person who can identify with his feelings and reason for feeling stuck, a man can regain his capacity for action that seemed impossible.
Often, Men come to therapy following a crisis.
Feelings of anger, loneliness, and sadness can surface. Emotions may fall out of check. Men man experience sleeplessness and anxiety. Depression, stress, lack of self-care, non-communication, drug use, each block the best life possible.
Getting started with therapy takes hard work in tackling these issues, and forging a way to build a better future. The issues fully understood help show why therapy helps men improve their lives and build the best possible relationships.
Why Men Need to go to Therapy
While approximately only one-third of all people in therapy are men, the statistics of men’s mental illness and disorders reveal a much more compelling need for positive therapeutic solutions.
-9% of men report daily feelings of depression or anxiety
-At some point in their life, 30% of men will suffer from depression
-The suicide rate of men is four times that of women
-Fifty-one out of every 100,000 white males age 85 and older commit suicide each year
-Of men with diagnosed depression, only 60% seek treatment
Due to cultural norms, men are less likely to seek therapy. The existential gap that a potential male patient experiences in finding a therapist prevents the trust needed to discuss personal issues. This gap shows the pressing need to overcome the blocks to therapy so that needed therapy can be worked through to give new and positive
approaches to life.
Studies have shown that men are more likely than women to develop social problems and substance abuse problems.
These studies have looked at prevalence by gender of common mental illnesses. Women were found to more commonly internalize anxiety disorders which results in withdrawal, loneliness, and depression. Men, on the other hand, were found more likely to externalize their emotions in behaviors such as aggressiveness, impulsiveness, being coercive, and acting non-compliant in social situations.
Men tend to act out what they feel. A man experiencing depression will more likely show anger or act irritable. He is less likely to cry or discuss his feelings or to uncover and discuss internal thoughts. His response to mental health conditions can lead to anger and aggression. Men with post-traumatic stress are more likely to resort to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Some of the reasons men come to therapy include these following issues:
-Feelings of being stuck, no motivation, all a form of depression
-Procrastination at work, success sabotage, and avoidance
-Trauma, PTSD, Disturbing memories
-Substance abuse and addiction
-Other dependencies including internet addiction, gambling, and sex addiction
-Body image issues
-Stress; work, family and personal time
-Poor sleep, physical pains
Male PERSPECTIVE: The Challenges of Being a New Dad
One particular source of stress unique to men is becoming a new dad. With the new responsibilities, disrupted sleep, and limited paternity leave from work, new fathers often find it difficult to keep up their existing lifestyle and schedules. Newborns require constant care. On top of the crying spells, diaper changes, and clean-ups, new fathers must adapt to the change and continue to find time for regular household chores and other activities. This can be stressful for dads who are used to a more independent lifestyle.
In addition to finding time in one’s life for a newborn, new fathers experience financial strain that can result in additional stress-related behavior. If not addressed in a positive and careful approach, the cost of a baby’s delivery, healthcare, diapers, clothing, and other supplies creates a financial burden that may exhibit anxiety or externalized emotions such as aggressiveness.
Having a baby means sharing attention with a third party. It is not uncommon for a new dad to feel left out, having less time with his partner. The recovery from the exhaustion and stress of childbirth can mean the loss of sexual activity. A man may feel bottled up and stuck in the situation which can put a strain on the relationship that leads a man to seek therapy.
Male Perspective: Feelings of Being Stuck
As far as hidden emotions go, many men are quietly plagued by the sense that they are flawed or a failure in one thing or another. This leads to secret and subtle shaming behavior that shows in behaviors of defensiveness, perfectionism and being overly apologetic.
Being defensive is a way of protecting one’s own feelings that would lead to shame. It is a way to avoid taking responsibility that helps steer clear of blame. The defensive man attacks people before they can criticize him. He transfers his shame to others by being aggressive and indignant. If a man were not crippled by shame, he would be able to see other’s feeling simply for what they are. He would be able to act in a caregiving manner with respect to their feelings and needs.
Additionally, perfectionism often acts as a defense against shame. A man may be so loaded with shame that he doesn’t allow others to see him as someone with human inadequacies. It takes a lot of energy to maintain an aura of being perfect. He may be drained and unresponsive to activities that otherwise do not pertain to his quest for perfection.
The defense against shame continues with compliance and apologies that hope to put a man in the right. These apologies diminish his sense of self and withdraw him from relationships that might be productive to his well being. The aggressive need to compete and appear compliant shows mindlessness and desire to push the secret defense. Secure and confident people can freely admit when they are mistaken. They have an inner strength from knowing that they are not a perfect person.
A man may be procrastinating due to a hidden shame. He may not try out of a fear of failure and the possibility of facing shame. The least part of him feels protected from shame, for now. The possible, however, never gets done. Perhaps a new art project as a hobby, seeking a promotion, or meeting new people in a new venue forever stays out of his circle of influence.
Uncovering shame gives a man greater options. It helps a man to become mindful of the shame that operates inside, perhaps with therapy so that he can empower himself and grow.
A Clearer Idea of Psychotherapy
While many men who come into a psychotherapist’s office have a general idea of why they are there, they lack a clear idea of why they’re in the office. Most men come in because they know they’re in trouble, that they’re supposed to share their feelings more, and they’ve not experienced the intimacy that establishes a connection and pleasure besides sex. They are mystified why their friends and family keep harping on it and have no conception of how to work it out.
Working with a psychotherapist is hard work that requires the male client to do introspection that will improve relationships and foster a positive approach to life.
In relationships with their partner, men get a sense of identity in feeling that they can make them happy. If they can provide for their spouse, help the spouse, find ways to pleasure that person physically and make them feel safe, then they have accomplished what their sense of identity compels them to do.
Some men may experience fear and shame due to a perceived inadequacy in their roles and responsibilities. Social norms have conditioned men to suppress emotions that show sensitivity, vulnerability, and fear, and be perceived as more masculine.
The bottling up of emotion leads to difficulties from the perceived sacrifice. Well-being is negatively affected. Getting the right therapist helps a man work through the feelings, allowing the feelings to surface and enhancing the well-being of the individual and the relationships.
Psychotherapy works to deconstruct the negative cultural norms and roles that encourage men to be strong, stoic, and silent.
The field of psychology has researched and outlined best practices that encourage therapists to express
therapy in conventional and functional terms that help create a positive flow in therapy. There is the sense
to talk about emotions with fun analogies, and the sky’s the limit, so get it out there and we can work with it. Additionally, psychotherapists want to gradually encourage discussion of emotions with the assumption that the man will have words and find a way to express what he may have been holding back.
It’s hard work. But, well worth it.
What Therapy Provides
Therapists and researchers have learned that although there are more men in therapy these days, fewer are sticking with it to reach what therapists feel is the real finish line. In an effort to encourage patients to stick with it, therapy commonly includes a straightforward description of the process and how it works. There is recognition that the client needs to be empowered.
The biggest roadblocks to a potential patient are distrust of the process and finding the right therapist. Knowing how much the sessions will cost and how many sessions are needed help empower the client to understand what to expect so that he can make a budget and implement the process in his daily life. Getting to know the therapist who can help him or recommend him to another therapist who can better help, creates a bond and a trust to provide needed therapy. The need to tailor therapy to the language and expression that a man projects will be met by a therapist’s tools.
The need for therapy for men can be determined by honest answers to questions about emotions, life, and work.
Additionally, when a man starts to feel stuck in a rut that he can’t get out of, that is a good time to go to therapy. Consulting with a therapist and answering honest questions about feeling stuck will help determine if therapy can be beneficial to a man’s particular situation.
Other symptoms that could be cause for needed therapy could include a problem affecting a man’s ability to function at work that may be putting him in isolation and loneliness. Coaching with therapy would help define the problem and if and how therapy consulting program would help.
If something emotionally or mentally is detracting from a man’s work so much that it might cost his job, then therapy coaching or consulting is definitely worth the cost. Problems with anger and aggressive behavior that pop up too often, or now and then, can be alleviated by a therapy tailored to deal with the emotions and behaviors common to these problems.
Peace of Mind, Health, and Happiness
Men are evolving. The old push-it-down so you can’t feel it, and drink-it-away approach to mental health
issues has progressed to a talk-it-through strategy. Men are starting to realize that the smart approach to
happiness can involve a trip to the psychotherapy couch.
According to a 2014 millennial health survey, forty-two percent of men ages eighteen to thirty-two consider psychotherapy an essential part of overall wellness. Men visit the therapist less than women do, almost two to one. But there are compelling reasons that show how men benefit more from therapy.
Therapy provides a safe space for those men who may have grown up without a dad or any positive male role model. Media, advertising, culture and coping with life’s demands may be what formed a man’s worldview and his role ideas of manhood. Therapy can help identify this problem and progress to a safe
and happier life.
Therapy will give a man the tools that exponentially improve his relationships. Coaching with a therapist will enhance a man’s ability to express his feelings and deal with real-life issues in a way that makes sense.
Seeing a therapist helps men to stop trying to do everything themselves and learn how to let go and focus on themselves.
It doesn’t mean a man has problems.
It means You want to be a healthier version of Yourself.
There is a responsibility to improve a relationship and one’s manhood that men realize is a part of keeping
the family together and maintaining health and wellness. The start of therapy takes honesty and hard work
to overcome cultural and personal blocks. The results of therapy coaching and consulting lead to enhanced personal integrity and peace of mind.
Contact Denver Men’s Therapy to start organizing your life and find some internal peace and collaborative problem-solving.